Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Football time

Sometimes people ask me why I don't play as much on Saturdays and Sundays in the fall and they're surprised when I say it's because I love to watch football! It's another passion of mine besides music. I love to watch football games. I love to watch tape of football games and break it down. I love to project players progressions. I'm reminded of an old saying by one of my favorite coaches, Bum Phillips as he and fellow Oilers coaches prepared to break down tape. One of the coaches said he loved breaking down tape because it was better than sex, to which Bum replied, without batting an eye," Either you don't know how to have sex, or I don't know how to watch tape!"

I remember watching tape of Arkansas Pine-Bluff with Lane College football coach Neal McCall because I wanted to learn more about the offense they ran under Archie "Gunslinger" Cooley (which he also ran at Mississippi Valley State with Willie Totten and Jerry Rice). I was surprised to find out that his defense was just as daring and "all or nothing" as his offense. Over the years, I've been blessed to experience NFL and major college games from the sideline, which is QUITE an experience. In the NFL, they're ALL big, they're ALL super fast, they hit as hard as Mack trucks and they facemask on just about every play. The difference between winning and losing truly is a razor's edge. That's why I loved/love being on the sidelines: you can feel the percussion of the hits, and soak in the emotional swings.

I, along with my wife Bridget, enjoy playing fantasy football and following the NFL and watching college football too. Labor Day, we watched as Tennessee got off to a rough start against UCLA, but I wasn't that surprised. I knew what a great offensive mind UCLA offensive coordinator Norm Chow has, and how he never got the chance to really show his stuff with the Tennessee Titans. No fault of his or their's. It's just a different game in many ways. I also knew what a great football coach Rick Neuheisel has, even though his reputation, at times, has been a bit below board. I think he'll do fine at UCLA.

This season, we have season tickets to the UT Martin Skyhawk games, and plan on going to a few more games, while watching a lot more on TV, especially my beloved MTSU Blue Raiders, the Vols, the Titans, Peabody High School (although my heart goes out to them in their tragedy this season), Jerry's Giants, Bridget's Dallas Cowboys, Lake County Falcons, Memphis Tigers, Syracuse Orangemen and more. I also have a lot of work to do to continue perfecting my homemade hot wing sauce. I love watching my teams, but I don't get too down if they lose. I refuse to let my happiness hinge on a 19-year-old boy doing what he is supposed to do. So for those who wonder why I don't play as much music in the fall, that's the reason. It's football time in Tennessee, and for me.

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